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Barcodes

How They Can Work for You

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Recognizing the need of countless organizations to begin utilizing barcodes, SeaTrak assists companies with their efforts to implement this cost-saving technology.

Using our baseline barcode software, we can implement a system that is specific to your needs. Doing so provides a system that is simple to use and can be expanded as your requirements change.

Written to run on a desktop workstation, the SeaTrak barcode software can power a small network in order to bring barcode printing and scanning to your shipping and receiving docks as well as all other operational areas of your organization.

Whether it’s a low-cost workstation or the initial infrastructure required for an entire warehouse automation initiative the Distribution Center Systems project analyst can help you assess your requirements.

 

Barcodes are a symbolic representation of identification information. We are all familiar with the contrasting light and dark bars found on virtually everything we buy. In most cases the barcode represents a number as in the UPC code use at retail. It can however be used to represent most of the characters available on a keyboard.

There are several different symbologies used to create barcode. The most common being the UPC code. There are other codes used throughout the supply chain and in other countries. If one were to walk through a warehouse the different barcodes used to identify shipping containers, cartons, and storage locations would be evident.

What is required to utilize barcodes

Barcode printer

Barcodes can be printed on just about any type of printer. Conventional Inkjet and LaserJet printers are just to print barcodes on reports and process control documents. Barcode printers are used to print labels that are then applied during manufacturing, distribution, and retail processes. These specialized printers are designed to print on label stock rather than paper. The labels have an adhesive backing.

Barcode reader

There are several different technologies used to read a barcode. The most common being the laser scanner used in retail stores. The scanner can be a stationary device or can be handheld. Regardless of the technology or style all the scanner does is decipher the barcode and then pass the information on to the computer.

Software to control the printer & reader

Some type of computer software is required to control the barcode printer and reader. In many cases a “work station” type system is used to manage the barcode information. In this scenario the existing computer systems are changed. The self-contained barcode workstation is used to process the information as it enters and exits the companies existing systems. In this way barcodes can be utilized without changing existing systems.

Knowledge to utilize the technology

As with any tool the skill/knowledge required to utilize it must be acquired. This challenge usually falls on the company’s IT department. When there is no IT department or the resources are just not available the implementation support can be outsourced. Barcode projects are neither complicated nor time consuming.

How can barcodes be utilized

Product – By attaching barcode labels to products (in all case configurations) it becomes easy to track inventory performance. Since barcodes make it easier and more accurate for workers to record their inventory movement actions inventory numbers take on a higher confidence level.

Locations – Applying barcode labels to storage and process locations reduces lost inventory, enables FIFO product rotation, and increases worker productivity by reducing the amount of time spent searching for lost inventory.

Documents – When barcodes are added to process control documents (receiving, shipping, manufacturing, etc.) work-in-process is more accurately recorded and customer service can better inform customers and suppliers as to order status.

Barcode utilization impacts the bottom-line

· increasing worker productivity

· Reducing inventory levels

· Providing accurate process status information (WIP, order status, etc.)

· Compliance with customer requirements